Jul 8th 2010 1:55PM To clarify for Hoggersbud, I have also had incidents where using my real life personal information has caused me grief.
A few years back when I was the technology editor of a web publication I was stalked and harassed by a guy with severe mental problems. This included death threats, but unfortunately for the perpetrator who used the U.S. Postal system to do this, this triggered the involvement of the Treasury Department and ultimately the FBI.
Ultimately this guys "internet anonymity" fell like a house of cards due to his behavior. But realistically had this guys behavior not gone this far it would have been little more than a creepy guy being an annoying ass. My interactions with this guy went back and forth between websites, chatrooms and forums for many months. And yes it was annoying.
Had I been less experienced and more naive, this guys initial behavior might have scared me to the point of never using my real name anywhere ever again. But that would have been as foolish as this guys behavior.
One's right to privacy really only extends legally to private venues. WoW, WoW's forums, and Blizzard/Activision's IP are not private places. If you assumed they were for all of these years, you were mistaken.
People mistakenly assume that a right to privacy is equivalent to a right to safety, and assume that right to privacy extends to wherever you happen to just feel it should. It most certainly does not, and NEVER DID. Granted there are safety concerns in this modern connected world though they are largely overblown and only differ in method and scope from the safety concerns that existed before we had this whole internet thingy.
People also mistakenly connect their poor understanding of "now" relative to "way back when" and assume gloom and doom is just around the corner. Interactions with other human beings has ALWAYS been a messy affair, with the potential to have negative and unwanted consequences.
If you've had a bad experience online, I feel for you because I've been there. But this in no way changes the facts of the matter. No amount of anonymity is going to protect you from anything anyway, and a lack of it is not going to make your world fall apart either. Anonymity merely allows you to be either less annoyed or more annoying, depending on YOUR BEHAVIOR. Once your behavior crosses certain thresholds none of this matters, and it's always been this way.
Jul 7th 2010 2:36PM As someone who has been an active participant in this whole internet phenomenon thingy for 23+ years, I think this sort of thing is ultimately a good idea.
Yes there will be abuse. Yes there will be unimagined consequences. But, proper interaction with real people in the real world has all of these pitfalls as well. The more important our interactions with one another become in an online medium, the more important it is that they have true meaning, worth, and value. As such this sort of thing is little more than bringing those interactions up to par with normal "real world" ones.
The solutions to issues that may arise are the same ones you'd utilize in your real life and involve little more than common sense and the realization that you are what you do. The only people who will suffer in the short term are the naive and the trolls. And that little bit of suffering will pave their way towards more thoughtful behavior and assessment of relationships.
I stopped hiding behind fake names, "nicks", and whatnot DECADES ago, and it has had no negative effect on me whatsoever. Behave online as you would offline, and hold your online "friends" behavior to the same standards of behavior you'd expect from your offline ones, and it all just magically works. Granted, this means also you will have to take the actions of others online more seriously, but you should have been doing that in the first place.
Jun 30th 2010 12:03PM When Samsung shows a demonstrable track record of....
1). Grasping what a smart phone platform is and requires support-wise
2). Showing they can commit to updating their phones CONSISTENTLY
3). Backing up what they say by sucking it up and doing what they say, even when they don't want to (you are what you do)...
...I won't touch another Samsung phone with a 10 foot pole.
Assuming they do follow through and actually support updating to 2.2 on their Galaxy line, expect little come 3.0. And expect NOTHING from the ROM/ROOT enthusiast crowd. Samsung makes it difficult to impossible for 3rd party modifications of their devices thanks to RFS security.
Unlike nearly every other Android device, you are entirely at Samsung's mercy here, and Samsung has a demonstrable track record of not caring once they have your money.
Sep 7th 2009 4:49PM As a guild officer in a rather smallish guild (40-ish members, close to 100 counting alts), I'm often the "referee" called in to deal with disputes or drama, whether I'm in a given raid or not. These situations are RARE, because we don't make loot or raiding uber complicated to start with, and because we expect reasonable behavior at ALL TIMES.
Our guild has an extremely simple loot system. We keep a "loot count", to avoid one person with extremely lucky dice walking away with everything. If someone shows up to the raid and is doing what we've asked of them, we feel they should have a crack at gear during that raid. Beyond that it's simple need rolls for main spec/off spec in that order.
Off spec rolls, should no one want an item for main spec do not go against your loot count. Rolls on pattern and orb drops also do not go against your loot count. Pattern drop rolls are restricted to people who actually have the profession. If you spent a fortune leveling your profession we feel you should be the one getting the pattern drop. If the people in question already have the pattern or whatnot, it's a free-for-all roll, same as we do on any BOE drops that aren't main spec upgrades. Shards go to the GB. We inspect all of our guild members, so that we know what content they should be gearing in, and so that we know when an upgrade is an upgrade. It's not that hard to tell.
It's a pretty basic and straightforward set of rules that we've always followed, much of which are basic common sense.
Using a simple loot count helps quell much of the nerd rage that is all too common in my experience with more complicated loot systems, such as all the variations of DKP, a system I find needlessly complex and counterproductive.
If you need a complex system to keep track of who in your raids sucks and doesn't suck, then it's stopped being a game, and turned into junior high school roll call in homeroom. That stuff is pretty obvious without the need for all of that.
If we were a more hardcore guild, perhaps we'd invest the time into complex loot systems, but we've not found the need. Even as casual as we are, most of our core officers and raiders are all geared within the top 50 players of their class on our server. And I can honestly say only two or three of our core group are super hardcore daily grinders with little else to do in their spare time.
It's not friggin complicated to distribute loot fairly and gear your raids nowadays. Between using a set of sane loot rules, badge items, crafted items, and pugging into higher progression content, it's CHILDS PLAY to gear yourself to the teeth if that's your bag. And our small core group is keeping up with the hardcore-no-lifers on our realm, without all the stress or drama. It *IS* a game after all and your supposed to do this for fun right?
Perhaps complex loot systems do make sense if your in the top 5% of guilds in progression, but for the 95% who aren't there (which would constitute the overwhelming majority of readers here I'd imagine), you've simply got a superiority complex and are just making things harder on yourself, your officers, and your raiders. To me complex loot systems are merely an excuse to not have to know your raiders, and have reasonable expectations of them.
In any event, communicate your rules clearly, and stick to them no matter what they are. Drama is usually a result of a lack of clarity, or more often in my experience by a lack of reasonable behavior. No amount of clarity or reasoned discussion can make a jack*ss not be a jack*ss. And it's not just a "maturity" issue. My kids are budding raiders barely in their teens, and are far more level headed than many adults I've met in this game.
Expecting people to have a basic grasp of how to work in a social setting is something we begin to expect out of people in early grade school. People that can't progress beyond playground politics should not be playing an MMO, and won't be raiding with us! I suggest Minesweeper for them. :)
Aug 6th 2009 6:27PM Perhaps not the most compelling story of loot woe here, but here goes. I didn't really get into the game hardcore until LK dropped.
So here I am running Heroic Utgarde Keep on my mage at every opportunity, trying to get Annhylde's Ring off the final boss. The one time I see it drop I'm in a PUG, and a Rogue rolls need on it, wins it, shards it, and hearths.
Jul 15th 2009 2:00AM Having been "online" in one way shape or form since 1987, this just goes to show all too clearly one reality of this medium some clueless people still do not understand.
Just because an online existence isn't "real" in the traditional sense does not mean you can simply do whatever strikes your fancy.
Ultimately you are what you do, no matter where you are. Harsh lesson for this guy to learn perhaps, but I feel little sympathy for him. Behaving poorly has consequences. Welcome to reality.
May 1st 2009 2:44PM I bet all the female orc's were having fun with this...All three of them.... :P
It's one thing to objectify women. It's another thing entirely to objectify pixels. Pixels, that for the most part, are ones being played by men in the first place.
If you're a woman, and you play a female toon, and you "identify" with that toon so much that bunny ears in a game bug you, I suggest counseling.
I like many guys have several toons, and not all of them are male. So what? My druid got bunny eared to death. So does that mean that I should "identify" with it's gender and be upset about it? Of course not. It's a character in a game.
Jan 17th 2009 10:03PM In our raiding group, I've specifically NOT spec'd for the 0/53/18 build for two reasons. One, we already have two other mages running that build. Secondly, I just don't like playing it.
It's the 10/10/51 frostfire build for me. Sure, those two usually out DPS me. By a whopping 100dps or so. I die far less (ice barrier) and have a much deeper mana pool (clearcasting) in longer fights. Being able to stay up longer as well as putting a little less pressure on a healer has some merit, especially when you're climbing the heroic learning and gear curve.
I also frequently do Wintergrasp and have a 2v2 Arena team, and this hybrid spec is overall almost as viable as deep frost in pvp situations.
Besides all the "justifications" above, it's also a personal thing. I just don't like world PVE grinding and dailies running that fire/frostfire build or arcane. To each his own, just wanted to share! :)